Jesus answered, “If you want to
be perfect, go, sell your possessions
and give to the poor, and you will
have treasure in heaven. Then come,
follow me.” When the young man
heard this, he went away sad, because
he had great wealth. Then Jesus said
to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is
hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom
of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier
for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich man to enter the
kingdom of God.”
(Matthew 19:21-24 NIV)
I Am the Rich Young Man
I have been raised as a Christian, Lord,
I have been taught to obey Your command.
Like the rich young man seeking eternal life,
Your way for me, I do not always understand.
I am willing to give You my time, Lord,
to give some of my money and energy.
And sometimes I follow Your lead, Lord,
but I don’t give You ALL of me.
I desire Your blessings and promises, Lord,
but I don’t want to forfeit earth’s pleasures.
Though I want to enjoy eternal life with You,
I’m unwilling to give up all of my treasures.
I ask You to change my heart, Lord,
so that I surrender everything to You.
I ask You to empower me with Your Spirit,
to transform me and make all things new.
I long to be perfect like You, Lord,
so cleanse me with Your holiness.
Then I shall enter the kingdom of heaven
and receive all of Your promises.
*God expects a great deal from his followers. He told the rich young man to sell all of his possessions and give the money to the poor. He would tell each one of us today to give up the thing that is MOST precious to us and then go and follow him.
“Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” (Matthew 19:21 NIV)
For those of us who are new Christians, it is very difficult to understand that Jesus wants us to be willing to give up anything and everything to follow Him. As humans, we work hard and save our money to buy a car, a house, and other things that we very much desire. To give up these things, which we have worked so hard to buy, is very difficult for most of us and, seemingly, impossible for some of us.
For those of us who have been Christians a long time, it is very difficult to be willing to give up all of our earthly possessions to follow Christ. We think it is difficult to give at least 10% of our earthly goods to Christ. We are willing to give up some of our money, some of our time, some of our talents, and some of our purchased goodies; but, most of us are like the rich young man when it comes to giving up ALL of our possessions to follow Jesus.
*It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter heaven.
For most people, accumulating a certain amount of money, wealth, or resources is the goal of this life. We follow the dream that if we work hard and save our money, one day we will be able to buy what we want and live the life we want and enjoy the pleasures of this world that money can buy.
We must love and trust Him completely, knowing that He will take care of us and provide for us. We must be willing to give up the control of our lives, our possessions, and our desires if we want to be true disciples of Jesus. Anyone who thinks it is easy to be a true disciple of Jesus is very mistaken. To offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God is the greatest thing we can do to honor God and show that we completely love and trust Him.
- Think of one or two things that belong to you that are the most important things, or people, in your life. Are you willing to give up these people, or things, and give your life completely to Jesus?
- Think about an area of your life where you are very controlling and possessive. Think of some ways you can begin giving up some things related to these areas. Once you achieve these goals, set higher ones. You may eventually find that you are able to give these things up for Jesus.
- Choose one of the apostles and contemplate what he gave up to follow Jesus. Share your thoughts with someone else.
- What is the treasure in heaven Christ promised the rich young man if he would give up his earthly treasures?
If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/